Sail Away

Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
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About The Book

A celebration of mermaids, wildernesses of waves, and the creatures of the deep through poems by Langston Hughes and cut-paper collage illustrations by multiple Coretta Scott King Award–winner Ashley Bryan.

The great African-American poet Langston Hughes penned poem after poem about the majesty of the sea, and the great African-American artist Ashley Bryan, who’s spent more than half his life on a small island, is as drawn to the sea as much as he draws the sea. Their talents combine in this windswept collection of illustrated poems—from “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” to “Seascape,” from “Sea Calm” to “Sea Charm”— that celebrates all things oceanic.

About The Author

Langston Hughes (1902–1967) was born in Joplin, Missouri, and lived much of his life in Harlem, New York. As one America’s most cherished chroniclers of the black experience, known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes’s work was constantly groundbreaking throughout his forty-six-year career. His poetry about the ocean and the symbolism that surrounds it stems from his travels through Africa and Europe working as a seaman.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (September 2015)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481430852
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8

Raves and Reviews

*"Readers don't have to have ever heard Bryan's unforgettable, theatrical recitation of "My People" or other Hughes poems to understand the depth of the artist's appreciation of and admiration for Hughes and his poetry: he opens the poems up visually here in the same way that he opens them auditorily when he performs them live. Like Hughes, Bryan, at 91, can also boast, 'I'm still pulling.'" -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Awards and Honors

  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • NYPL 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Kansas State Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year - with Outstanding Merit
  • NCTE Notable Poetry List

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Langston Hughes